Essay about The Magnificent African Cake, By Basil Davidson

1597 Words Sep 27th, 2016 7 Pages
Between 1881 and 1914, the European powers invaded, divided, and occupied the continent of Africa during what is now known as, The Scramble for Africa. In doing so, they disrupted the lives of African people and permanently altered the physical and cultural landscape of Africa. In Basil Davidson’s, “The Magnificent African Cake,” he chronicles the beginning of colonialism in Africa, the impact of European rule on the continent, and the ideologies that justified the exploitation of the African continent and African people. Accordingly, the Europeans justified their exploitation of Africa, her inhabitants and her resources because the Europeans classified African people and their way of life as inferior to the western world.
To begin, classification is the process of organizing a society by grouping together individuals with shared characteristics such as race, class, and gender. According to Stuart Hall, a cultural theorist and sociologist, to classify is to “break up the diversity of human societies into very distinct typings according to essentialized characteristics, whether physical characteristics or intellectual ones”(Hall). Human beings have a propensity to classify groups of people and rely on classification to organize their prospective societies and cultures;these classifications help to give meaning to different groups and in turn maintain the order of society. Although there is nothing inherently wrong with classification, this process becomes problematic and…

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